Heath under 17s excelled against a strong Sheffield side as they fought out a 24-15 victory to progress to the top of the highly regarded North One Division.
With centres Ezra Hinchliffe and Jack Sheldrake consistently running hard and threatening lines, Heath’s attack looked ominous. However, despite starting on the front foot it was Yorkshire champions Sheffield who were first to score when they won a scrum against the head and sparked a quick counter attack where swift hands resulted in their pacy fullback skipping through numerous tackles to race over in the corner for a converted try.
Heath replied impressively and slick hands in the backs allowed inside centre Hinchliffe to find the slightest gap in the Sheffield defence through which he superbly jinked his way around several tackles to crash over the Sheffield line. An excellent touchline conversion from fly half Sam Pollard levelled the scores at 7-7.
From the restart, Heath’s forwards showed their power and burly work from, in particular, prop Tom Kilner, and back rowers George Smith and Stephen Hare, once again allowed the backs to be released, outside centre Sheldrake crashing through to score under the posts. With Pollard once again converting, Heath took a 14-7 lead although Sheffield reduced that to 14-10 by kicking a penalty just before the break.
Both tactical and forced substitutions did not stop Heath’s attacking threat with man of the match Hinchliffe continuing to surpass the Sheffield defence. He was consistently supported by Heath’s menacing back three, particularly fullback Will Tolley who was inches away from yet another crucial try. The hard work of the forwards eventually told with flanker George Smith driving over for his first try for the club. Yet another Pollard conversion, and then a penalty, left the score 24-10 to Heath.
Sheffield never gave up and managed to maul over for a try in what turned out a fiery final few minutes. The final attacks from Sheffield also allowed Heath to prove their worth in defence with the hits flying in right through from first to last minute, notably from big second row Fergus Marsden.
HALIFAX Academy finally got their season underway with a storming 28-26 victory in the Northern Conference Senior Colts League at Roundhegians Colts.
An early set back saw Roundhegians taking the lead within five minutes but some strong defence from Halifax kept their opponents in check.
After some excellent forward play Danny Mellor was released on the left wing and ran in under the posts from 40 yards, which was converted by Charles Hyland.
The game ebbed and flowed between two evenly matched teams and Roundhegians scored again but that was soon cancelled out when Christian Heyhoe scored the first of his two tries.
Halifax started the second half very much the same as the first by conceding early. Again the Halifax forwards came to the fore securing good possession and territory allowing Danny Mellor to attack a great running line and yet again score under the posts.
It appeared that the game could have been lost when Roundhegians scored again to make it 26-21 but on the last play of the game Elliot Mercer broke through the defence and kicked intelligently for Christian Heyhoe to run in and score. Charles Hyland converted as Halifax clinched the win.
OLD Brods senior Colts maintained their 100 per cent unbeaten Premier Division record with a fine 25-19 home victory over Doncaster.
Brods were immediately under pressure playing up the slope against a strong breeze and Doncaster opened the scoring with a good try taken by their scrum half following a pick up from the base of a ruck and touching down under the posts.
The try was converted and Brods response was immediate. A strong run from Luke Cole in midfield set up a good position, the ball was moved left to right and was finished by another strong run from second row Greg Robertson who touched down wide on the right.
Doncaster then took advantage of a maul close to the Brods line with a forward drive resulting in a further try before Phil Town took advantage of a penalty goal to make it 12-8 to the visitors at half-time..
Brods started the second half strongly with Dan Cole controlling the game from fly half and they took the lead following a strong forward drive and Phil Town again converted to make the score 15-12. From the restart the ball was moved swiftly through the hands to pacey Elliot Fletcher who entered the line from full back. As he was tackled he moved the ball to the supporting Danny Cole who dived in at the corner to complete a fine scoring move wide on the left.
Brods played some exciting open rugby and it was Danny Cole again who saw the opportunity and took his chance well just to the left of the posts to extend Brods lead to 25-12.
Doncaster had the final word with a fine individual try from their pacey right wing, the conversion completing the scoring.
More Junior Sport in Thursday’s Halifax Courier